Canada’s PSP fund acquires stake in animal-tag maker Allflex: Reuters

PSP Investments, one of Canada’s biggest pension funds, said on Friday it had acquired a significant minority stake in Allflex Group, the world’s biggest maker of electronic tags for animals, from private equity firm BC Partners.

Allflex grew from being a low-tech maker of plastic ear tags for cows to a world leader in high-tech labeling after the European Union tightened food traceability rules in 1998 in the wake of the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) crisis, known as “Mad Cow disease.”

Subsequent crises, including a 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak in Britain, led to tighter supervision of how livestock is sourced and tracked in Europe, North America and Australasia.

“Allflex is a high-quality, fast-growing industry leader with a unique market position,” Guthrie Stewart, global head of private investments at PSP, said in a statement.

BC Partners had purchased the business from private equity rival Electra Partners for $1.3 billion in 2013.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.